Fentanyl: The Good V.S. The Bad
The Effects of Fentanyl
What Exactly Is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a schedule 2 classified prescription narcotic, that is nearly 100x more powerful than morphine. It’s also about 50x stronger than heroin, actually, fentanyl is the strongest opioid pain reliever used for medical treatment.
It is a synthetic opioid; this means it’s a manmade drug that affects the brain the same way morphine or heroin does. The potential for abuse is high because of this.
Fentanyl can be an effective and safe drug when administered and monitored by professionals in a medical setting. Its usefulness for managing chronic pain, its variety of analgesic properties, and potency make it a valuable tool in the medical field.
Fentanyl has quite a few medical uses, one being as anesthesia for heart surgery. Also, its use for cancer-related pain treatment proves that it works well when used correctly. Its patch form helps with chronic pain management for individuals who suffer from kidney disease or have problems swallowing it in liquid or pill form.
Fentanyl is especially great for patients living with kidney disease as it does not metabolize. Because it doesn’t metabolize, its considered clean meaning that there is no build-up in the body. This is an alternative option when kidneys do not excrete properly.
Key Points Concerning Fentanyl.
- Fentanyl is a highly potent synthetic opioid great for alleviating chronic pain.
- Small doses can be lethal for children.
- There are numerous illicit derivatives of fentanyl that are way more potent than its prescription counterpart.
- Fentanyl is often substituted for heroin by recreational users.
Fentanyl binds to receptors in the body, boosting the dopamine levels which impact the central nervous system. The surge in dopamine relieves pain and encourages a sense of euphoria.
How Is Fentanyl Administered?
Fentanyl comes in the form of:
- Oral or nasal spray.
- Lollipops or lozenges
Fentanyl Abuse And Heroin
Fentanyl may be used to amplify the high of heroin. Abusers can even find discarded patches and use them because they can still have substantial amounts of fentanyl left in them. This increases the risk of overdose.
Side Effects Of Fentanyl Use
Here are some side effects of Fentanyl:
- Constricted pupils.
- Itchy skin.
- Slowed breathing rate.
- Altered heart rate.
Fentanyl Overdose Indicators:
- Cold, clammy skin
- Severe tiredness
- Trouble walking or talking
- Non-responsive to pain.
- Shallow breathing, difficulty breathing / respiratory arrest.
- Dizziness and fainting.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Difficulty swallowing.
Seek immediate medical help if you or someone you know are experiencing these symptoms.
Risk Factors Of Fentanyl Use
When it comes to opiates, the risk of abuse and addiction is always there, fentanyl is no exception. Overdose is always a risk with narcotic drugs or opioids. However, fentanyl can be fatal with just one dose. Particularly when taken the wrong way. The first-time trying fentanyl can kill.
It is hard to know what amount will be lethal for opiate addicts who have built up tolerances to opiates. It’s especially dangerous for those who are not used to using opioids whether prescribed or procured illegally.
Pharmaceutical grade fentanyl is not the same as the fentanyl found illegally on the streets. It’s much more potent. There is an uncertainty with all street drugs since dealers tend to mix them with other things to make the high more powerful.
The opioid crisis in America is one that has spiked tremendously over the last few years. The total number of deaths caused by this epidemic goes up every year. Bringing awareness to this issue can help reduce the risk of overdose or death due to opiates like fentanyl.